Hydrocarbon fuels from vegetable oils via hydrolysis and thermo-catalytic decarboxylation

Wei Cheng Wang*, Nirajan Thapaliya, Andrew Campos, Larry F. Stikeleather, William L. Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Conversion of canola oil to normal alkane hydrocarbons was investigated using sequential reactions: continuous thermal hydrolysis and fed-batch thermo-catalytic decarboxylation. The free fatty acid (FFA) intermediate product from hydrolysis was quantified using GC-FID, which showed 99.7% conversion and the following components: palmitic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, stearic, arachidic and behenic acids. The FFA was saturated then decarboxylated at an average rate of 15.5 mmoles/min using a 5% Pd/C catalyst at 300°C. Approximately 90% decarboxylation conversion to n-alkanes was achieved within 5 h of the reaction. The resulting mixture of n-alkanes can be readily converted into renewable diesel using isomerization to improve the cold flow properties of the fuel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Biofuel production
  • Deoxygenation
  • Free fatty acid
  • Hydrocarbon fuels
  • Hydrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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